NABOKV-L post 0024148, Sat, 4 May 2013 08:45:52 -0700

Quelques Fleurs
The name of Aqua's talc powder, Quelques Fleurs (1.3), blends, as it were, the
stock phrase quelque chose with Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal ("Flowers of Evil").

But, Alexey! I even posted photos of Aqua's talc, Quelques Fleurs! Have you
forgotten? Houbigant? souvenez-vous!

From: Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark1970@MAIL.RU>
Sent: Sat, May 4, 2013 7:34:48 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Chose University

Having completed his prep-school education in America , Van Veen goes up to
Chose University in England. (Ada,1.27)
Chose is French for "thing" and quelque chose means "something". According to
Pushkin (Eugene Onegin, One: V: 1-2),

Мы все учились понемногу
Чему-нибудь и как-нибудь
All of us had a bit of schooling
in something and somehow.

This is rendered by Turgenev and Viardot in their accurate prose translation of
EO as "Nous avons tous, par petites bribes, appris fort peu de choses et fort

The name of Aqua's talc powder, Quelques Fleurs (1.3), blends, as it were, the
stock phrase quelque chose with Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal ("Flowers of

A learned fellow, Onegin never went to school and never was a student. It
is Lenski who studied abroad and who brought from the Goettingen University the
fruits of learning (uchyonosti plody): liberty-loving dreams, a spirit
impetuous and rather strange, an always enthusiastic speech and shoulder-length
black curls.

Lenski's "fruits of learning" bring to mind Plody prosveshcheniya ("The Fruits
of Education", 1891), a comedy by Tolstoy. Incidentally, the phrase plody
prosveshcheniya first appears in Karamzin's Melodor k Filaletu ("Melodor to
Filalet") and is quoted by Herzen in S togo berega ("From the Other Shore").

Lenski is Kant's votary and a poet. (Two: VI: 8) Kant is mentioned in Ada (2.5)
by Van: 'It [the closet in which Van and Ada locked up Lucette] had a keyless
hole as big as Kant's eye. Kant was famous for his cucumicolor iris.'

Он пел разлуку и печаль,
и нечто, и туманну даль
He [Lenski] sang parting and sadness,
and something, and the misty distance. (Two: X: 7-8)

Turgenev and Viardot: Il chantait aussi l’absence et la tristesse, et le vague
inconnu, et le lointain vaporeux.

Van's University is in England. Albion (England) is mentioned in the unfinished
Canto Ten of EO. In the same chapter Pushkin uses the gallicism siloyu veshey
(par la force des choses). In Ada (2.7) Van translates this stock phrase as "the
fever of intercourse" (see also my article in Zembla "The Naked Truth or the
Reader's Sentimental Education in Ada's Quelque Chose University").

Alexey Sklyarenko
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